Let us ask the important questions,
(Brethren, be not too secure)
What it is to be a Christian,
How we may our hearts assure.
Vain is all our best devotion,
If on false foundations built
True religions more than notion;
Something must be known and felt.
Tis to trust our Well-Beloved
In his blood has washed us clean;
Tis to hope our guilts removed,
Though we feel it rise within;
To believe that all is finished,
Though so much remains to endure;
Find the dangers undiminished,
Yet to hold deliverance sure.
Tis to credit contradictions;
Talk with him one never sees;
Cry and groan beneath afflictions,
Yet to dread the thoughts of ease.
Tis to feel the fight against us,
Yet the victory hope to gain;
To believe that Christ has cleansed us,
Though the leprosy remain.
Tis to hear the Holy Spirit
Prompting us to secret prayer;
To rejoice in Jesus merit,
Yet continual sorrow bear;
To receive a full remission
Of our sins for evermore,
Yet to sigh with sore contrition,
Begging mercy every hour.
To be steadfast in believing,
Yet to tremble, fear, and quake;
Every moment be receiving
Strength, and yet be always weak;
To be fighting, fleeing, turning;
Ever sinking, yet to swim;
To converse with Jesus, mourning
For ourselves or else for him.
-Joseph Hart (1712-1768)